God Is With You. No, God Is In You. – Haggai 1-2

indwelling-holy-spirit“Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the Lord’s message to the people: I am with you, says the Lord… be strong, all you people of the land, says the Lord… Work, for I am with you, says the Lord” (Haggai 1:13, 2:4, CEB).

The Lord told Haggai to encourage the people to get to work to rebuild the Temple. God encouraged them to get started and reminded them that they were able to do it because He was with them.  God reminded them in both chapters of this two-chapter Old Testament book.

Now, God is with us by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. And He has an assignment for each of us that accomplishes His purposes.  So, we should be bold and get to work doing His will because “I am with you, says the Lord!”

Here’s the problem: Instead of being bold, we are reticent about doing God’s will. We hesitate because we don’t know what His assignment is for us.

Or we think we don’t know. Or we think we can’t accomplish His assignment for us because it’s so overwhelming.

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Drift, Part 2: AWE! – Acts 2:43

Awe_Baby“Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.” (‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭43‬ NASB)

Our spiritual life can begin to drift when we neglect the practice of our Christianity, our relationship with Christ, our salvation! “For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it… how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭2‬:‭1,3; NASB).

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The Gideon Leadership Strategy – Judges 6

Gideon_Sword“Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord gave them into the hands of Midian seven years” (Judges 6::1, NASB).

After the time of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites, each of the tribes settled in the land allocated to them. Since, the Israelites had not completely conquered or subdued all the various Canaanite people-groups as a nation, it was left to the tribes to fight against the Canaanites still remaining in the land they occupied.

The Israelite tribes often formed regional alliances among themselves to fight against the Canaanites. And the Canaanites often formed coalitions with one another and with people groups surrounding the land of Canaan to fight against the Israelites.

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Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 4: Clandestine Christians

light-under-a-basket“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).

Are you a Light-Under-A-Basket Christian? A Clandestine Christian? A good gal or guy but people don’t know why?

A lot of Christians are Clandestine Christians. They want to conceal the fact that they are Christians because it might be uncomfortable for them or others . More often than not, I am! And, sometimes, maybe you are too…

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Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 3: Good Works

Light of the World-Good Works“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).

This familiar verse is from the Sermon on the Mount. You’ve probably read it, sung about it, had it taught to you in Sunday School lessons, or had it preached to you in sermons on many occasions.

I know I have. And I’ve even expounded on it more than a few times myself in these Meditations. But in all my elucidations about being the light of the world, there’s one very important point I haven’t explained very well–how to emit light.

What do I actually do to radiate light so that people will glorify God? How do I shine?

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Small Beginnings, Enormous Endings – Zechariah 4:10

baby_jesus“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT).

When the first wave of Jewish exiles returned to Judea, they were enthusiastic about rebuilding the Temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians nearly fifty years earlier. But when their efforts to start rebuilding the Temple were opposed and resisted by neighboring nations and internally by the current inhabitants of the land, the repatriated Jews became discouraged and the Temple continued to lie in ruins for almost twenty more years.

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Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 2: Shining Jesus

Shine my Light“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).

When Jesus said to let your light shine on people, He didn’t mean His light should reflect off me. He meant that His light should be emitted from me.

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